General description & tips for <Panzer Front bis> on
Playstation.
Jap version revise here.
Written on Jul/Aug/Sep-2001.
1st update on Dec-2001, Jan/Feb/Mar-2002
2nd update on May/Nov/Dec-2002, Jan/Apr/May-2003.
By Kurapica.


{Please note that I write in internet language; do not
mistake this 4 poor English}

*****

[Foreword]

I never saw the Jap version of Panzer Front, which was
release on 1999, but I had c an English Panzer Front
after I got Bis. Which is the 1st game, while this is
the 2nd of the series.

I feel this game is an excellent tank simulator; with
very intense action n fighting, the game is also very
fast paced (consider a tank game it is fast). Although
it uses simplified controls, but is still a simulator
in heart.
The best way 2 feel the tanks clash-of-armour, besides
fight with the real thing, is only through simulator.
But tank simulators base on WW2 are rare even on IBM,
not 2 mention on PSX. Most of the other tank games are
either strategy cum war games or simply 2D/3D
shoot-em-up, not really simulator. So this game is a
rare gem 4 fans of this category. Maybe I can even
call it Tank Turismo.  ^_^

The graphic of all tanks are beautifully done, very
detailed; however its overall graphics n the 3D
environments are not as good as Grand Turismo (if
initially it could license the GT2 graphic engine
insteadÖ). 
The game physics, however, is good. I don't know does
this game means 2 create as realistic as real 1 or
not, but I felt which is realistic enough. The
developer had also put in a lot of attention into
details, so u can notice many details in small areas.
The AI of either side are not stupid. The controls are
also simple n straight.

During play, this game has dense atmosphere n
immersion. It will draw u in, u shall feel the
surrounding atmosphere n tension - the feeling that u
are really there! U donít just simply play a game, but
has 2 really fight 4 victory or your life.

I'm not going 2 put up an inch-by-inch walkthrough,
just description of game & hints. To overcome the
various missions, u can try it yourself by using
different combinations n tactics.

*****

> The Tank select mode is base on 6 imaginary tanks.
If u prefer real tanks like me, go 2 Tactic mode.

> The 2nd game has included a construction & story
mode. I tried story mode a bit, which is base on
German side. It seems like it tells a panzer commander
whom had been possessed by *something* n thus fought 4
the Reich.
The construction mode canít build tanks & terrain from
scratch, but only let u design your own battle field
layout n put available units into it. It is useful but
I didn't build a thing. Try it yourself.

> U can switch any tanks in tactic mode, just point 2
their name then choose from the list. We can even
place tanks of different countries into any side, now
talk about mix-n-match. However we can only choose
those tanks which were readily available by that
period (not all are selectable). But doing so the high
scores will not be saved though.

> Press shoulder buttons of joypad can manipulate the
map by enlarge, reduce or tilt them. When the map has
enlarge & tilt 2 the max, u can study the elevation of
terrain. This up & down of terrain can be important on
some missions cos u can take advantage of such
terrain.

> On tactical map, the coloured units are:
Red= enemies
Pale blue= yourself
Blue= your units
Green= uncontrollable units

> On actual battle field, the different coloured
markers indicate their position. Those with lighter
colours mean they're further away (any side) than
brighter coloured. This game will display their range
when theyíre within 2Km. 
Actually the distance that this game display is
inaccurate, they are always too large. The maps are
probably miniaturized in scale 2 reflect this; I guess
the scale are miniaturized about 1:15 to 1:20 in size.

> The 3 difficulty setting in option screen although
doesn't feel much different except changing the
controls n parameters, but it'll somehow affect the
game play. Example - in rookie or veteran difficulty,
u can switch ammo on the fly. But in ace mode, every
switch will need 2 reload again. The others will
mention later.

> If u set the tanks as damageable in option, then
besides blown out, the tank can be damaged. They are:
   
- Gun= can't fire main gun. Better replay instead.

- Tracks= the tank can't move anymore. I had notice
that once any track is damaged, then after certain
time, that injured tank (excluding myself) will be
grey out on map n die. I guess which is due 2
mechanical breakdowns. But I can't figure out how 2
specifically crippled a tank's track.

- Turret= turret can't rotate. Not that serious,
albeit now u have 2 rotate the entire tank 2 aim.

- Engine= I never encounter this so donít know what
will happen.

> If u play as rookie or veteran difficulty, then
MG=machine gun, AP=armor piercing round, HE=high
explosive & HEAT= high explosive anti-tank round.
APCR/HVAP is a variant of AP, but seems like it is
more powerful than normal AP at close range while
becoming weaker than AP at further distance.
On a German Panzer IV with 75mm length 48 calibers
gun, probably the effective range of APCR will
decrease after 1Km; on a German 88mm gun, it will
still be effective within 2Km, but may decrease after
that.
HEAT may not be affected by range.

> Knowing the capabilities of different tanks can be
helpful. Do the research if u wish. What I find useful
4 this game are:

- Armor thickness of individual tank. Their front,
flank & rear; sloped or rounded is even better.

- AP firepower of main gun, u need this against enemy
tanks.

- Maximum ammos carried.

- Speed n weight.

> U can tell the remaining ammos of your blue units by
looking 8 their numbers in parenthesis. But u can
never know the remaining ammos of green units or
enemies.

> U can control up to 3 other blue units. If u need
all of them 2 follow, use the formation command. If
not, use the formation command 1st, then plot the
waypoint 4 individual unit 2 move; or give it a defend
command (don't do in reverse way).

> On tactical map, u can move your blue units by
Movement command, it came with four speed settings.
Sometimes u may not need 2 move them that fast 4
special purposes.
1 thing to point out is that your blue/green comrade
vehicles are frequently slower than yours. The
formation command will make them greatly lag behind u,
but is much easier 2 use. Plotting their individual
waypoint will cause them respond faster, but still not
as fast as your own vehicle.

> When u issue a Move command, however, if that unit
encounter enemies within its gun range, it will
frequently stop n engage them 1st thus ceasing its
movement (or refuse 2 move 8 all). Sometimes this is
clever act but most time will only cause trouble by
disobeying order.
In this case, if their speed are set at 1 or 2, they
will mostly stop 2 engage enemies so completely ignore
your order; if u set their speed to 3 or 4, then they
may resume their route but do not always work.

> The blue & green units tend 2 fire at enemies when
they're within their gun range but still far away (or
they may fired at undesired targets). This waste up
some ammos but pity this game had no Hold fire
command.  :-(
Although this game does provide a ĎFire by signalí
command, but it doesnít work the way I want. So my
only way 2 offset this so as 2 conserve their ammos is
either let my blue units unmoved, or let it drive
slowly so by the time they arrive, they can be put
into better use.

> The ĎFire pointí command can order those blue units
2 fire 8 the designated location. Sometime it will
only fire once then will return 2 its original state,
or may keep firing several times.

> When your other blue & green units fight on their
own, usually they will fire 8 any targets that they
spot on horizon; then shoot 8 those targets which are
closest 2 them, then pick the next closest. When doing
so they will frequently rotate the entire tank n
turret 2 face the opponents.
When facing multiple targets by their own, they will
pick the closest target 1st. Usually infantry will be
their last priority, even if those infantries are
closer.

> On battle field, units have different use. Their
purposes n the way 2 handle them are describe below ->

Tanks= most important unit, star of this game. U have
2 engage/manipulate them. Use AP or HEAT rounds 2
destroy them; but sometimes HE will also work if your
gun is big enough (I ever use HE to pick off the flank
of several German assault gun by a Sherman 76mm gun;
or even a T-34/85 head on by HE of a King Tiger).
Tanks on your side can be your spotter.

Infantries= cannon fodders. But some missions require
them 2 capture or defend certain territory. They can
be your prying eyes on map. Can be killed by HE or MG.

AT Gun= dangerous 2 tanks, may not harm infantry (some
can fire HE as well). Use HE or MG 2 smashes it.

Fire point= can fire AP or MG or sometimes both. Those
fires AP will threaten tanks. The MG type can kill
infantry. Fire HE rounds 2 blow them up or simply roll
over them if it is a soft type. Also can be your
prying eyes.

Plane= Fire MG then drop bomb on your head, they have
good chance of hitting. When they show up they will
pick random targets, so bunkers n infantries will
probably be their targets too! No way 2 handle them.

> AT Guns have a limited traverse angles. So if u can
approach them from other directions instead of head
on, they canít fire 8 u cos which is out of their
movement. Exception is German Flak 88, which is fully
rotateable.
Bunkers may capable of firing all around too.

> On some scenarios like Petrowka & Seelow, the enemy
will keep firing heavy artillery n this rain won't
stop. A hit will kill any tank; very irritating!
On such missions, those artilleries even come with
homing effect, so they will always follow u or other
units whenever u go! Letís hope they donít hit u.
      
> Move 2 supply zone 2 rearm or reshuffle your ammos.
If u place a blue unit on it permanently then it will
gain infinite ammo. However it canít repair any
damage.

> Just like real tanks, tanks are thicker on armor 8
front while thinner 8 flank n rear. So unless
surrounded, always keep your front 2 enemies.

> If u need 2 move your blue unit while it is still
busily engaging enemies, it is better 2 use the Move
backwards command instead of Movement (but only if it
complies). Albeit this will be slower in speed, but is
safer than exposing their ass while turning away.

> On some scenarios, u shall receive reinforcement
tanks. The reinforcement is actually base on a certain
tank of your unit. E.g. - if your certain tank is an
assault gun, then the back up will also be assault
gun; or if a particular tank is a Hetzer, then the
back up will also be Hetzer. So if u try mix-n-match,
changing that default tank will alter all the
reinforcements.

> U can try 2 park your tank 8 slightly lower land or
much higher ground 2 intercept opponents. On 1st case,
with only gun or turret protruded, your tank will be
less exposed 2 enemies fire. On 2nd case, the AP may
drop on their roof whereas which is vulnerable.

> Smoke bomb can be helpful at times (but pity USSR
tanks donít have smoke). I use it on two ways:

- Fires a smoke bomb 2 obstruct enemies vision when in
danger (especially if its main gun can kill me).

- If target is still far away 4 my gun while it can
kills me instead, fires smoke 2 confuse it until it
moves into my kill zone or vice versa.

> Ambush is not easy in this game cos most times the
enemies will quickly discover u, but it is still
possible 2 approach an enemy undetected. If u come out
from a sneaky position or under cover of smoke, if the
enemy ahead is visible but no red cursor shown, or the
cursor doesnít display any number, then it hasnít
discover u yet so will not react.

> I found out several tricks on using smoke 2 hide
from enemy:

- Fire a smoke ahead, then go straight through only
HALF of it, but use binocular/gun view when doing so
until the enemy is visible through binocular. Usually
some portion of your tank will still be covered, but
this will not alert the enemy so u can get a clear yet
safety shot.

- Fire two smokes closely in pair so leaving a gap,
then park 8 the gap between them, u can c him like
this but he canít c u.

- Or keep firing a series of smoke ahead so u can
drive behind enemy tank, then shoot his ass (pretty
dangerous move). In most cases, the enemies usually
wonít react 8 all.

> Do u feel your main gun isn't effective enough in
this game? I thought so initially. While the German
88mm gun was known 2 blow away enemies at beyond 2Km;
my King Tiger, with its long 88mm can't even destroy a
M10 at 500m easily. The main points are due 2 their
sloped armor n the way u aim. Explain below.

> Aiming= the trick here is 2 aim higher. The physic
is accurate so only if u aims higher, then the AP will
hit the intended location. I guess the trajectory of
fired rounds are flying in arc, so only by aiming
higher, it will reach targets. Instead if u only aims
parallel 2 target, say a tank at 1500m, the fired shot
will lose kinetic energy then drop 2 ground. So unless
u are 8 kissing range, always aim HIGHER. Play as ace
difficulty must aim even higher than veteran.
Basically, the weaker the main gun or the further away
the target is, the higher u aim! 
Using this trick, my King Tiger could smash a T34/85
at 1500m, M4 Sherman at 1600m n once a T34/85 at
beyond 2Km. Wow!

> Armour= any sloped armour will make the penetration
more difficult. If it is both slanted & sloped 8 a
steep angle then u can hardly nail it. When I drove my
Tiger I, fire at a T34/85 which was approaching fast
at 800m->1Km, heading SE from my location. By this
bearing, its hull was position at about 45ļ to my gun.
I fired several shots, but by this angle its steeply
slanted & sloped hull kept deflect away my AP. Same
thing if the shell only hit the edge of its rounded
turret. Now that's physic.

> Also a fast moving target if it moves sideway
instead of head on also has a chance 2 deflect the AP.
Like a fast T34, if it moves toward 3 or 9 o'clock may
also cause the shots 2 bounce off. Also lead shooting
will be required.
I had several such experiences. When I tried 2 shoot
those T-34/76 by my Tiger I, the firepower of Tigerís
88 was suppose 2 be enough 2 knock them out, even
their sloped front hull. However in truth, the AP just
couldnít penetrate if those T-34 are angled like I
mention above even 8 close range, especially if they
are still moving. Sometimes the AP will still bounce
off although I did score a straight hit on their front
hull - if they are still moving! So at times I could
only kill them when they are completely idle or choose
2 aim their turret instead.
 
> But we can use the same trick ourselves. Some tanks
like the German Panzer III/IV & Tiger I just do not
have sloped armour. If the frontal armour can't
withstand enemies fire, then try this trick. 1st, park
the tank head on towards enemy, then turn about 30ļ,
lastly rotate the turret 2 engage it. This will create
an angular & slanted hull on your tank (or try
approaching diagonally). Let's hope by align it this
way, the enemy's incoming AP will hit the hull (not
turret) n bounce off.

> From my experience, turret is easier 2 penetrate
than sloped hull. Otherwise the gun mantle of turret
is usually thicker. Some are even very much thicker. I
still suggest aim 8 turret in this case.
But 1 tip, some tanks its frontal underbelly can be
weak as well. So if u find your Panzer IV canít
penetrate the sloped front of a M4 Sherman or M4A1,
try 2 aim 8 its lower half is another good choice,
especially 8 short range.

> The rotation of binocular & gun view is slower than
exterior view. So if trying 2 aim a moving tank 8
close range when it rolls pass quickly, it is faster 2
rotate the entire tank 2 track it instead of just
turret movement.

> Some bad terrain like soft bog or snow will greatly
slow down the speed. This works especially true 2
heavy tanks. This is very dangerous when being
surrounded while the rotation n speed has slowed down.
But USSR tanks, with their lower ground pressure n
wider tracks have advantage over this.  

> As above, when stay on such bad terrain but the
speed 2 move or turn will become very, very slow. If
the tank is stationary, then the fastest way 2 move it
n turn altogether 8 the same time is: - press move
forward 4 about a second, then let go of 1 track to
let it turn. This will enables the tank 2 move n turn
all 8 the same time. The tank can also kicks into
higher gear ratio quicker if doing so.     

> During the play back moment of a tank's destruction,
the replay angle of the initial "coming in" is where
the AP came from. So by looking 8 the play back
screen, u can tell what direction the AP came from n
possibly who did this. Plus your units will also
report their kill.

> After completing a mission, the game will ask u 2
save the score only if your current score is HIGHER
than previous 1.

> The way this game calculates your score is probably
base on these factors (Iím not sure)Ö

- No. of enemy units destroyed (AT guns, bunkers,
infantries, tanks). The more u do it yourself, the
better.

- No. of units lost (penalty).

- No. of AP fired n hit percentage. HE does not count
but HEAT will.

- No. of hits taken.

- Time used.

*******

Below is my comment of some tanks. Please note that
due 2 the fact that this is a game, so the pros & cons
of some tanks are not entirely reflected. Like the
durability/reliability of Panzer III/IV, or the
engine/gear/transmission problems of Panther & Tiger
are not featured.

All armours I mention below unless specify are refer 2
frontal armour.


Panzer III= not spectacular. Not fast enough 4 a
medium tank. The armour neither thick enough nor
sloped (except the side of turret). The Pak 38 50L60
gun of Ausf J & 75L24 gun of Ausf N is OK 4 its time,
but canít destroy T-34 easily. None of them can really
cope much against T-34, so is OK as a medium tank but
definitely not top class.

Panzer IV= same. But some versions like the Ausf H
came with a Pak 40 75L48 gun which is effective. So u
can kill enemies while it is still far away b4 it gets
u, otherwise this tank canít take much hit by itself.

StuG III= this German assault gun, especially the G
version, came with sloped frontal armour plus a Stuk
40. Its low hull also makes it a hard target.
Efficient; even 8 late stage of war.
But the E type is much weaker in armour n gun, plus it
also carries less ammos so isnít of much use.

Jadg Panzer IV= either equips a Kwk 40 75L48 or Kwk 42
75L70 so is strong in fire power. Its two large glacis
plate 8 front n low hull can dodge many shots.
Actually is pretty good, its exterior was also cleaner
than StuG III/IV. The 70(V) version is slower n carry
less ammos though.

Horniness, Marder & Nashorn= a self-propelled gun I
think. Better use 4 defense or support fire only. Get
killed easily. As tank destroyer they are not really
up 2 the task.

Hetzer= not fast enough 4 a light tank class n its
flank is also thin. But the entire tank is very
compact yet sloppy, with its overall sloped armour,
low silhouette n smallness make it a hard target. Its
Pak 39 75L48 still packs a punch. A good light tank.

Panther= rather fast & maneuverable. The Kwk 42 75mm
gun is also a good gun so it can shoot enemies from
long range. All armour n turret are sloped (albeit its
flank is weaker). It was the Germanís most balanced
tank. Nice 2 use.

Jadg Panther= similar as Panther but with whole piece
of glacis plate 8 front so is better 8 deflecting AP.
It comes with a more powerful Pak 43. However the
chassic is not low enough plus its hull has extend too
high, so it becomes an even bigger target than
Panther.

Elefant= very slow. Not sloped n rather tall but
fortunately its armour can withstand most fire. The
Pak 43 88L71 is very, very hard hitting. But the
overall performance is a mix bag.

Tiger I= average, no sloped armour but the Kwk 36
88L56 gun is strong. The speed is OK as a heavy tank
of such weight, actually it is still faster than other
heavy tanks class of lighter weight.

King Tiger= big, slow n tall make it an easy target.
But overall is sloped in armour like Panther (although
its turret was oversized); with its thick armour n Pak
43 made it nearly invincible. Just don't get
surrounded.

Jadg Tiger= very big n slow. Although its Pak 44 128mm
gun can fire big HE, but its AP firepower probably is
weaker than Pak 43 due to shorter gun barrel length;
plus it can only carry 50+ ammos n the loading is so
slooowww. Not much use.

Maus= same as above plus very, very slow. But is supra
thick n its oversized turret can carry 100+ ammos
though (including co-axial gun ammos). Not a good
design.   

T34/76= fast, nimble n overall sloppy armour made it
hard 2 destroy while moving. No wonder it caused so
much damage 2 German. The T-34 series was the best
tank of WW2, if only it could improve its frontal
armour n gunÖ

T34/85= same but comes with a larger turret n better
gun. Now it can kill a Tiger I head on, but the
loading is also slower; better gave it a British 17
pounder instead.

T60= a light tank with glacis plate 8 front n rear.
But as a light tank neither its speed nor turning is
fast enough. However is good against AT gun or
infantry in this game.

T70= similar to T60 but a bit bigger, taller n
thicker. Its frontal glacis plate can help deflect
some AP; the 45mm gun is capable of destroying a weak
medium tank. Not as good as Hetzer but as a light tank
it is doing its job.

KV1= slow heavy tank. Although it is overall thicker
than Tiger I, but is also slower n the 76mm gun just
canít cope up with its stature. Not outstanding, but
if it could equip something similar to 88 then it can
be an USSR Tiger.

JS2= a heavy tank comes with a 122mm gun but is low on
ammos n very slow on reload, however its gun maybe is
weaker in AP than German 88. The hull is however low
enough n canít easily be penetrated.
A German 75L48 gun can only nail this tank head on if
it scores a hit on its turret, n also only 8 pretty
close range.

JS2m= similar but with a whole glacis plate 8 front
instead of collar. Its frontal armour is so hard 2
penetrate 4 my King Tiger even 8 kissing range. Pose a
serious threat to Panther & Tiger I. 

JS3= excellent heavy tank. All armours are sloped,
with a V-shaped frontal glacis plate, a very low yet
round turret plus a rather low hull. This thing is
just impossible 2 destroy from front. Despite some
drawbacks, probably the best design around (together
with T-34, which is more balanced). 

SU85= the chassic of T34 with turret removed 2 convert
into assault gun. Yet it still retains the
characteristic of T34. Now it has the mobility & speed
of T34, firepower n low hullÖ

SU152= a heavy tank comes with a very big howitzer, so
its massive gun can be scary enoughÖ

M4 Sherman= not as good as T34 n the superstructure is
high. The 75mm gun although not good enough by its
time, but still can be of some use if it fires APCR
instead.

M4A1= it is better armoured plus an enlarged turret.
The 76mm gun packs a punch, watch out!

M4A3= Sherman with an even larger turret which is
overall thickly armoured. However it is also slower n
the gun isnít big enough. An US KV-1? Or it tries 2 be
an US Tiger?

M5= a light tank modify from M3 staurt with a glacis
plate 8 front.

M10= a medium tank with good design. Overall sloped in
armour, with a sleek turret n is also fast. Its 76mm
gun is also strong. Better than Panzer IV.

T26 Pershing= a tank with similar looks as those
Vietnam era US tanks. Actually with its frontal glacis
plate, low hull n powerful 90mm gun makes it
outstanding enough. Beside a tad slow, I donít find
any weakness with it in this game. 

Churchill= very slow but thick. Even a Panther or
Tiger I also had trouble 2 nail it from front by plain
AP.

Cromwell= better than Panzer IV in many respects n is
very fast. The 75mm gun is the only weak point when Vs
a Panzer IV.

Firefly= Sherman fitted with a 17 pounder gun. This
76mm gun really packs a wallop. It can blows away many
German heavy tanks head on. What I had experienced
were Elefant, Jadg Panther, Maus, Panther & Tiger I.
Get it b4 it gets u.

Type 1 Chi= nearly the specification of medium tank,
but only with armour n firepower of a light tank.
Maybe is equivalent 2 a Panzer III, but is utterly
obsolete by 1945 standard considering its design n
firepower. Even worse than USSR T-70.

Type 3 Chi= same but comes with a bigger turret thus
enables it 2 equip a 75mm gun. Although still looks
dated n pretty weak; but consider its small size,
maybe wasnít so bad. 

Type 4 Chi= a bigger tank with thicker armour. It also
has a sleeker turret n the barrel of the 75mm gun is
longer. Perhaps it can put up a better fight.

The other imaginary tanks are probably better than
these WW2 tanks. Use them may make an easier game.

T80= a tank looks like a large Playstation. The hull
is very low n the turret is also very flat. This
creates a very low silhouette thus making it a hard
target.

Type 90= fast n very responsive. But since all of its
armours are of vertical design, so it can only rely on
its natural composite armour 4 defence. This will be
OK if its armour is tough enough 2 withstand enemies
fire; but from my playing experience Vs those T80, it
isnít. Looks a bit like M1 Abrams.

*******

The difficulty of those built in missions vary. On
some missions, 2 win will requires careful
manipulation n planning (plus some luck); or use your
other units as decoy or expendable assets. Otherwise
just keep trying or use different tactics.

There is actually no fix way 2 play this game so I
donít write any walkthrough.

On the case of 1st time player, I suggest start as a
German. Most of the German heavy tanks are thick
enough 2 withstand enemies fire n their firepower can
blow away oppositions from long range. Their biggest
threats are too many enemies keep flooding in, even
from different directions so can quickly get
overwhelmed. Otherwise u can have a good practice in
shooting from afar (spell as safety range).

*******
 
P.s. I don't know is there any cheats in this game or
not.